Yellow Shield, Chapel Stile

Above the village of Chapel Stile in Great Langdale there is an open quarry which has been worked, on and off, since the 18th century. High in a hidden corner of the quarry this shield of bright lemon yellow seems to shine from the dark, wet slate which surrounds it. It is these chance encounters which make the abandoned quarries so interesting to us; one can suddenly become confronted by the most remarkable natural rock art. As natural pattern searchers we are constantly on the look out for these features which seem emblematic of these man made landscapes.

After the quarrymen walk away from these landscapes, leaving them battered and scarred, nature quickly moves in – painting the walls with minerals and lichens, mosses and liverworts; so beginning the inevitable regeneration to a rich habitat. They can eventually become far more bio-diverse than the managed landscape around them whilst also providing us with fascinating spaces to explore.

Location and conditions

Chapel Stile quarry, Great Langdale

light drizzle, overcast, warm

Technical notes

camera: Toyo 10×8 field camera

lens: 800mm nikkor lens

exposure: 8sec f45.5

film: fuji velvia RVP 10×8